Correction, PIP, Volume Settings
In the last two installments of Ask Home Theater, I wrote that the Sony STR-DA4600ES and DA5600ES A/V receivers can convert HDMI sources to 1080i component video for a remote room. My source at Sony was confident about this, and I took his word for it. However, reader Dan couldn't find anything about this feature in the DA5600ES manual. Was my Sony contact wrong?
Yes, he was. After further investigation, it turns out that the 4600ES and 5600ES do not convert HDMI sources to 1080i component for the remote zone; only component-video sources can send high-def video to the remote zone, and HDMI sources cannot be sent to the remote zone no matter what their resolution. I'll update the appropriate entries, but I thought it was important to point this out here as well. I regret any confusion my previous responses might have caused.
Side by Side
We currently own a Hitachi 50-inch rear-projection TV. It has been a great television, but it's time to upgrade, so we are looking at 60-inch LED-backlit LCD flat panels. I have discovered that split-screen PIP with dual tuners is fast becoming a feature of the past. We use this feature every week. I watch sports on the left and my wife watches whatever on the right. Can you give me any ideas about televisions 55 inches and up that can do a split screen? Preferably full-array LED backlight as per your previous suggestions.
I'm afraid I don't know of any current-model TVs that can do a split screen with two different programs; if readers know of any, please leave a comment. Dual-tuner PIP is disappearing from TVs primarily because that functionality is now found in satellite and cable boxes, so many TV manufacturers have decided it's not needed in the display. I don't know if any cable or satellite boxes offer split-screen; I think most show the second program in a smaller inset window.
Personally, I wouldn't want to share the TV as you describe. For one thing, each image is either cropped or squeezed to fit half of a 16:9 screen. Then there's the issue of audio—how do you both hear your respective programs without the other?
I have a Demon AVR-2808, and I have a question about the volume. I usually listen to movies with the volume control set to -15. Is 0 considered reference level? When I run Audyssey, does it matter where I have the volume set before I start calibration?
After calibration, a volume setting of 0 is indeed reference level, which is defined as 75dB SPL for the home. I'm not surprised that you listen at 15dB below that; reference level is very loud.
When you run the Audyssey setup routine, the volume control is bypassed, so it doesn't matter where you set it before starting the process. However, I recommend setting it fairly low, so when the calibration is done and you return to regular program material, you don't get blown out of your seat.
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